Tis the Season! With winter holidays right around the corner, people are spending their hard-earned money on gifts for their loved ones. However, the holidays are more than just giving and receiving presents—they’re also an opportunity to support the communities and causes we’re passionate about. Giving Tuesday provides just that chance. Coming in the wake of Thanksgiving weekend’s food coma and jaw-dropping sales, Giving Tuesday encourages us to give to the organizations working to improve our communities.

A New England Guide to Giving Tuesday

Below are just some of the organizations in the Northeast that support getting people outside and improving our outdoor communities.

Connecticut | Open Doors Outdoors

On Giving Tuesday think of Open Doors Outdoors Organization Open Doors Outdoors (ODO) is a nonprofit organization focused on providing outdoor outings such as hiking, UTV adventures, kayaking, snowshoeing, rucking, trail running, and CrossFit events for veterans, their families, and young people. The events are designed to provide the physiological and psychological benefits that nature and the outdoors offer—decreasing isolation, improving mood, and increasing a sense of camaraderie in military veterans.

The approach is simple, yet effective: provide cool experiences that connect veterans and show them that nature is not only beautiful but healing. The organization strives to reach a wide swath of people. For example, its UTV program has proven instrumental in connecting disabled veterans and individuals with mobility issues with the outdoors—it’s also seen significant success in serving autistic children. The organization also hosts several annual community events, including road races, a CrossFit event, and a Family Autism Christmas Extravaganza, that help support the mission of ODO.

If you want to help a Connecticut charity this Giving Tuesday, Open Doors Outdoors is a good one! If money is tight, you can also give the gift of your time by volunteering to assist in areas like photography, marketing, videography, accounting, finance, organizing events, and managing gear. Nonprofits operate specifically off of donations, so volunteering helps keep expenses down.

Maine | House in the Woods

House in the Woods Organization House in the Woods (HITW) is a nonprofit organization started by Paul and Dee House, the parents of Sergeant Joel A. House, who was killed by an improvised explosive device on June 23, 2007, while serving in the Army in Iraq.  

The inspiration for HITW came to the Houses following a memorial service at Fort Hood honoring their son and several other service members. Overwhelmed and comforted by being surrounded by families who were experiencing the same grief and loss, they created a program using Maine’s outdoor resources to help military families support one another.

House in the Woods brings together small groups of active military, veterans, and their family members to decompress, bond, and cope with the many emotions that can haunt those grieving.  Available activities include canoeing/kayaking, hiking, hunting, fishing, and wildlife education. Participants spend time in Maine, are challenged by outdoor activities, and have the chance to bond through past and present experiences while connecting with the healing power of nature to reduce anxiety, lower adrenaline, reduce blood pressure, and increase positive emotions.

There are many ways to support HITW on Giving Tuesday, either through direct donations, purchasing coffee/merch, sponsoring items on their Amazon wishlist, or making a financial contribution.


Massachusetts | The Trustees of Reservations

The Trustees of Reservations Organization The Trustees of Reservations was founded in 1891 and is the nation’s first—and Massachusetts’ largest—preservation and conservation nonprofit. The organization protects special places across the Bay State, caring for and keeping these locations of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value open to everyone.

The Trustees of Reservations properties include a wide swath of destinations ranging from woodlands to parks to farms to historic homes and museums. In total, the Trustees have protected more than 47,000 acres of land on which 350+ miles of trails (including some portions of the Bay Circuit Trail) are located.

The Trustees also provide a variety of programming on its properties, including guided hikes, story times, playgroups, and cooking classes.

There are a number of ways to support this awesome organization. For example, you can make a donation, purchase a membership, volunteer your time, or shop their online store and local properties.

New Hampshire | New Hampshire Outdoor Council

New Hampshire Outdoor Council Organization Giving Tuesday The New Hampshire Outdoor Council (NHOC) supports various agencies and organizations involved in backcountry safety education and search and rescue activities. The organization dispenses grants to Granite State search and rescue operations, enabling them to conduct group training and acquire needed equipment. The organization also promotes safe and responsible outdoor recreation through education and information.

The New Hampshire Outdoor Council supports some of the most esteemed organizations and groups in the Granite State, including the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS), and Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), along with a number of volunteer search and rescue (SAR) organizations. The NHOC is a supporter of The White Mountain National Forest Trailhead Steward Program and the hikeSafe program.

Donations to the NHOC help 12 volunteer teams spread across the state, ensuring they’re in place, prepared to respond to calls for help, and ready to assist NH Fish & Game and USDA Forest Service when backcountry explorers are in need.

In 2022 alone, the NHOC helped support 185 SAR missions. Funds for SAR missions largely come from private donations, like those made to the NHOC. Consider donating to the New Hampshire Outdoor Council this Giving Tuesday.

Rhode Island | The Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Audubon Society Organization The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s (ASRI) mission is to protect birds and other wildlife through conservation, education, and advocacy, for the benefit of people and all other life. It’s the oldest environmental organization in the Ocean State (established in 1897) as well as one of the largest environmental educators, reaching 20,000 students annually.

The organization is also one of the largest landholders in the state—it protects nearly 10,000 acres of wildlife habitat for future generations. Many of the ASRI’s refuges are open to the public and have groomed trails for hiking, observing/learning about wildlife, photography, and bird watching.

The ASRI is engaged in a wide variety of ongoing projects, including habitat management, refuge protection, property monitoring, and trail maintenance. In addition to conservation projects, the organization also leads hundreds of public walks and programs.

There are a number of ways to support the Audubon Society of Rhode Island on Giving Tuesday (and beyond), including making a donation, purchasing a membership, or serving as a volunteer.


Giving Tuesday Warriors SOAR OrganizationWARRIORS SOAR is dedicated to ending veteran suicide. The organization believes that getting veterans outside and engaged in activities with other veterans has a positive impact on mental health and helps wounded veterans reintegrate into their communities.

At the core of the organization is Support, Outreach, Assistance, and Recovery (SOAR). It’s through these pillars that veterans can navigate the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life:

  • Support: provide programs throughout the year to help disabled veterans find ways to cope with mental or physical injuries
  • Outreach: host events to raise awareness and funding for their mission along with attending events and using social media to partner with other organizations and reach new audiences
  • Assistance: connect veterans with other organizations that offer veteran support including mental health support services; mentoring and counseling services; physical health support, such as recommendations for medical care like physical therapy and adaptive sports programs; and community support services like social events, peer support, and volunteer opportunities
  • Recovery: help veterans navigate the path to “recovery” through engagement with other veterans, family members, recreational activities, and opportunities.

Ninety-five percent of donations to WARRIORS SOAR go directly to fund activity-based programs aimed at ending veteran suicide. Consider making a donation to WARRIORS SOAR this Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday

From Thanksgiving Day football games, parades, and meals to Black Friday to Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday, it’s easy to get overwhelmed this time of year. That said, if you need a break from eating and shopping this Thanksgiving weekend, take a moment to support the organizations working every day to improve our communities and advocate for the causes you care about.